Making prisms to raise funds

Posted March 7, 2013 at 6:00 am

According to Wikipedia, in optics, a prism is a transparent optical element with flat, polished surfaces that refract light. At least two of the flat surfaces must have an angle between them.

Light changes speed as it moves from one medium to another, such as through a prism, and this speed change causes the light to be refracted and to enter the new medium at a different angle…this causes light of different colors to be refracted differently and to leave the prism at different angles, creating an effect similar to a rainbow.

Local artist Vivian Miller first became fascinated with prisms as a child.

At her aunt’s house in Paullina, there were prisms in a window of beveled glass. In the afternoon, Miller would sit on the stairway and look at the rainbows made by the prisms.

“Over the years, I’ve made prisms to give to shut-ins and nursing home residents,” said Miller, adding her own home has prisms all over, covering the walls with rainbows.

“We really like to have rainbows,” said Miller, who began creating them from chandelier pieces she purchased.

“Some of the pieces are regular glass,” said Miller, “and others are leaded glass which gives better prisms — better rainbows.”

Now, she and her 13-year-old daughter, Katie, have made several prism “crystals” as they call them and donated them to the Akron Public Library as a fundraiser for the upcoming pRhyme Time on the Prairie poetry weekend.

“I have written poetry from time to time,” said Miller, “ and it sounds like a really neat weekend for people in the area — a time to appreciate the creativity of others.”

People can see and purchase these crystal prisms at the Akron Public Library. All proceeds will go toward the poetry weekend, which is set for April 12 – 13.

Look for more information on the fifth annual pRhyme Time on the Prairie poetry weekend in upcoming Hometowner editions.

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